Nigeria records 221 more COVID-19 cases - highest in one week

...Nigerian Research Institute Develops COVID-19 Molecular Test Kit

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed 221 new coronavirus infections, the country’s highest figure in one week.

This is the first time since September 9 that Nigeria will record more than 200 new positive samples in its daily count of COVID-19 cases.

Before Friday, the cases had dropped to as low as 79 infections on September 13 — Nigeria’s lowest daily count in more than four months.

The NCDC confirmed the new cases in 17 states and the federal capital territory (FCT) in its update for September 18, 2020.

According to the breakdown of new cases, Lagos topped the list with 59 infections, followed by Abia with 46 and FCT with 22.

The NCDC added that a total of 213 people were discharged on Friday, including “100 community recoveries in Oyo state in line with new case management guidelines”.

Although Oyo recorded no new infection on Friday, the state is currently the second most affected in the country with 985 active cases, while Lagos has the highest figure of 3,377 positive patients.

One person was confirmed to have died of COVID-19 complications on September 18, increasing the country’s fatality toll to 1,094.

Out of 56,956 infections now confirmed in 36 states and the FCT, while 48,305 people have recovered, 7,557 are still active cases.

In a development story, the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research at Yaba, Lagos, says it has developed molecular test kit for COVID-19.

The research institute says the test kit is known as the SARS CoV-2 Isothermal Molecular Assay, SIMA.

The test kit is for COVID-19 detection, according to the institute’s Director-General, Prof. Babatunde Salako.

In a chat with PUNCH Healthwise, on Friday, Salako said the innovation was borne out of the global sample testing challenges experienced by scientists and physicians.

Speaking on the importance of the test kit in the fight against the global pandemic, Salako said, “While no effective vaccine has been developed to date, case detection remains the surest way of controlling the pandemic.

“Molecular laboratories remain limited in number, and people living in remote areas are at a disadvantage when it comes to getting tested.

“Testing centres are also limited and mostly available in urban areas. The molecular test kits are, therefore, one sure way to confirm the presence or otherwise of the virus in a population,” he said.

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